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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/23/18

When a terrorist is not a terrorist?

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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"Why won't Trump call Austin bomber what he is? A Terrorist," this is the title of the story by Alice Salles of Carbonated TV. The Austin bombing suspect is being called a domestic terrorist by people on social media, but why won't the media and the White House call him that?, she writes.

While police are still unsure of Mark Anthony Conditt's motive for having allegedly planted the bombs, many people have pointed out that if Conditt were Muslim, the media and elected officials would already have called him a terrorist, Salles said adding: But since Conditt called himself a conservative, was white, and had been raised Christian, President Donald Trump doesn't seem quick to jump on the word "terrorist" to describe the bombing suspect.

Tellingly, Conditt was part of a survivalist home school group that taught children how to use guns and discussed chemical reactions.

Conditt was part of a group of students called the Righteous Invasion of Truth (RIOT), an organization that engages homeschooled kids on activities that range from studying the Bible to learning how to use guns. Many of its members were also interested in learning about dangerous chemicals, according to BuzzFeed.

Austin Bomber
Austin Bomber
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As Conditt sensed that authorities were closing in on him on Tuesday night, he took out his cell phone and recorded a 25-minute video confessing to building the explosive devices -- but didn't explain why he targeted his victims, interim Austin police Chief Brian Manley told a press conference on Wednesday.

The video made by Conditt, whose string of package bombs killed two people and wounded five in Texas, was found on his cell phone when police recovered his body Wednesday morning.

Regardless of his motivations being unknown at this time, Conditt's actions are terroristic in nature, if we're to be consistent with other incidents that have been labeled as such, Carbonated TV said adding: whatever his reasoning, the bombings he perpetrated intimidated a community in Texas, and it seems like that was part of his intent.

"It's hypocritical of some media outlets and lawmakers in Washington to fail to identify Conditt as a terrorist. Were he a person of color or a person who followed Islam, politicians would be throwing out the descriptor of "terrorist" without hesitation. That he isn't described as much shows egregious discrepancies on the part of those more willing to do so in other situations, when white individuals aren't the ones committing the crimes," Carbonated TV emphasized.

Before his death, federal criminal complaint and an arrest warrant were filed against Conditt on Tuesday night in connection with the bombings, Buzz Feed quoted the Department of Justice as saying. He was charged with one count of unlawful possession and transfer of a destructive device. The complaint affidavit remains sealed due to the ongoing investigation, authorities said.

The charge was filed before he detonated the bomb early Wednesday as officers were attempting to apprehend him in Round Rock. He died shortly after. Austin police said Conditt had two roommates, who had been detained for questioning. One of them was released while the other was still being questioned. Their identities were not made public.

Online, activists questioned whether the bombings were racially motivated, since the two African-American residents who were first killed were members of well-known families within the city's black community. They also questioned news outlets and politicians who are not calling the suspect or anyone else potentially involved with these bombings terrorists. Carbonated TV quoted a number of social media activists comments on Conditt.

Shaun King: The Austin Bomber was Mark Anthony Conditt - a 24 year old domestic terrorist.

Mel #PunchANazi@meli_melusine: Call Mark Anthony Conditt exactly what he was: a terrorist. A white, male, bigoted, hateful terrorist, radicalized by the surge of white nationalism and Nazism we've been seeing and allowing to grow for more than a year. He's a terrorist.

Khaled Beydoun: 63% of mass killers since 1983 look like Mark Anthony Conditt, the Austin Serial Bomber: White, male, and citizens. Redefine Terrorism.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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